Learning is....
Planting a seed in our brain... learning to water, nurture and grow it.... so we can live on the fruit of our learning and plant more seeds.

Thursday 12 January 2012

Sneaky Poetry

Just thought I'd mix it all up with a bit of English to break the monotony of art activities.

I got this from a book that has all sorts of poetry forms in it, and I find that it is a fantastic way to teach the children about verbs, nouns, adjectives and adverbs.  Above you can see a photo of the modelling books I used to introduce this with my class.

The last time I did this, the theme my class was studying was NZ native birds.  But you could do this with any theme really.  While I was relieving I found pets was a good theme.  Children love writing about their pets.

So this is how sneaky poetry works:  You don't tell the reader what it is until the last line, and the four preceeding lines are clues.

The first line is an adjective and a noun.
The second line has two adjectives.
The third line has two or three verbs and a noun.
The next line is a phrase or a thought about the subject.
The last line reveals all.

So lets say I wanted to write a poem about my (now not so little) kitten, Ritchie McClaw.
Firstly I would brainstorm as many adjectives about him as I could (e.g. black, hyper, cheeky, destructive, naughty, curious, inquisitive, cute, adorable, annoying...).

I would also need to brainstorm some verbs to describe what he does (e.g. rip, tear, jump, eat, snuggle, investigate...).  Below is an example I did with the class in the modelling book:

So here it goes....

Black feline
Curious and destructive
Ripping and tearing the newspaper
Snuggling on the couch
Ritchie McClaw

Obviously the layout of the poem is important and some students, particularly young students, struggle with the idea of using new lines for each section of the poem.  Punctuation such as commas and full stops are not necessary, but capital letters at the beginning of each line are.

Ofcourse, once the students have written their poems, I'm sure you'll find an appropriate way to publish and display them.

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